BYU (1-0) at Stanford (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 11, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Maples Pavilion (7,233) -- Stanford, California. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: BYU 1-0, Stanford 1-0. Away Record: BYU 0-0, Stanford 0-0. Neutral Record: BYU 0-0, Stanford 0-0. Conference Record: BYU 0-0, Stanford 0-0. Series Record: BYU leads, 4-2.
GAMES NOTES:Maples Pavilion will be the site for a non-conference bout on Monday night when the BYU Cougars battle the Stanford Cardinal.
Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino combined for 50 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists to power the Cougars to an 81-72 victory over Weber State in a season opener that featured a pair of two strong mid-major programs. Last season the Cougars finished 24-12 overall but were not invited to the NCAA Tournament, instead settling for a run to the NIT semifinals, where they fell to Baylor. BYU has had at least 20 wins in eight straight season and with the tandem of Haws and Carlino clearly set to produce at a high level, another 20-win campaign looks in order. The next test for the Cougars will be against Mount St. Mary's, kicking off the College Basketball Experience Hall of Fame Classic.
This is the second part of a three-game homestand for the Cardinal, who held off a feisty Bucknell squad, 72-68, in Friday's season opener. Stanford never trailed in the second half but also never led by more than eight points over the final 20 minutes. Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell were the key contributors in the contest, making for an interesting matchup in this battle as Randle and Powell go up against Carlino and Haws. Stanford won the NIT two years ago but last season managed to finish a mediocre 19-15, including an even split of its 18 games in league play. Stanford's greatest success came at home where it managed a 15-3 record. Stanford wraps up this homestand on Thursday against Northwestern.
There have been six all-time meetings between these two programs. BYU holds a 4-2 advantage.
BYU was one of the best scoring teams in the country a year ago, ranking 12th nationally in points (77.1 pg), 11th in assists (16 pg) and among the top 60 teams in the country in field goal percentage (.457). Even without the dominating post presence of Brandon Davies, the Cougars looked as good as ever against Weber State. Haws was especially effective as he poured in 28 points to go with 13 rebounds. Haws will need to continue to be a rebounding force for the Cougars, who were 17th nationally on the boards last season (38.8 rpg). Also expected to help in that area, especially after his showing against the Wildcats, is Kyle Collinsworth. The 6-foot-6 guard also posted a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) for the Cougars. Carlino had a strong game as well with 22 points and six assists to match six rebounds. Carlino is the lynchpin for the squad with his ability to score and set up teammates for easy buckets.
Stanford certainly looked different offensively than it did last season. For the Cardinal that is a good thing. As a team they connected on 48.1 percent of their shots from the field, a noticeable improvement from the Cardinal's efforts last year when they ranked last in the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage (.416). Powell was an all-league performer a year ago and he picked up right where he left off as he registered a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds, while also managing to dish out six assists. Powell's versatility will be critical for Stanford all season, especially if it hopes to replicate the offensive success. Randle, who dropped in a game-high 18 points, will also need to keep up his strong start after he went 5-of-9 from the field. Randle shot below 40 percent from the floor last season. Anthony Brown (14 points) and Stefan Nastic (11) also scored in double figures. Aaron Bright, who is returning from an injury that limited him last year, only played in 16 minutes, but he should continue to see more playing time as the season continues.
Both of these teams play a solid brand of basketball, relying on a number of proven contributors. The Cardinal have a bit more balance from the frontcourt to the backcourt and although Haws, Carlino and Collinsworth will be a handful for the Cardinal, the Cougars have a bigger challenge in trying to stop Powell.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stanford 73, BYU 69
11/11 10:38:53 ET